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Thursday, September 22, 2011

What do you call this symbol used in e-mail addresses?

Before it became the standard sign associated with our email address it was used to represent the cost or weight of something. For example, if you purchased 6 apples, you might write it as 6 apples @ $1.10 each. Only after the world wide use of it through email did it appear on the keyboard.

There is no official, universal name for this sign but there are dozens of strange terms to describe the @ symbol.

Several other languages use worlds that associate the shape of the symbol with some type of animal....
 For example, some quirky names for the @ symbol include:
apenstaartje - Dutch for "monkey's tail"
snabel - Danish for  "Elephant's trunk"
kissanhnta - Finnish for "Cat's tail"
klammeraffe - German for 'hanging monkey"
papaki - Greek for 'little duck"
sobachka - Russian for "little dog"

Although so commonly used among us.......... the actual origin of the @ symbol remains a mystery.


TexWisGirl said...

now that's an interesting bit of trivia!

Flora said...

Hmmph..So interesting...who would of every thought! I also thought it was short for AT...Now I know...Thanks for this insight!

Granny Annie said...

That was some great information. I believe I like the Dutch "monkey's tail" and shall use that from now on.

Chatty Crone said...

I always thought it meant - at.


Shammickite said...

I call it an AT too.

Lady Di Tn said...

I'm with all the others who have heard it referred to as at. Peace